Watch A Reporter Explain How The Trump Campaign Bullies Journalists: "I Was Basically Given An Ultimatum"
On MSNBC's All In, Florida Sun Sentinel's Michael Mayo Explains How He "Was Basically Given An Ultimatum Of Leaving Or Being Arrested" While At A Trump Event
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From the March 14 edition of MSNBC's All In With Chris Hayes:
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CHRIS HAYES (HOST): There was a bit of a scary moment at a Trump rally in Dayton, Ohio on Saturday when a man jumped the barricade and tried to rush the stage. He was quickly tackled by Secret Service and taken into custody. He was not armed and said he just planned to yell that Trump was a racist. The really scary part was how Trump supporters at the event reacted. Listen carefully to the voices yelling in the crowd.
HAYES: Kick his ass, kill him. A bunch of stuff we had to bleep out and that kind of thing is not just reserved for the protesters who actually disrupt Trump's campaign events. MSNBC's Tony Dokoupil recorded the following scene outside a trump rally on Saturday.
HAYES: Then there's this video taken outside what appears to be the same event.
HAYES: Go to Auschwitz. Go back to f-ing Auschwitz. All just the latest evidence that Trump events are often dangerous places to be a dissenter or merely someone the campaign doesn't like. Just wearing a hijab and a t-shirt reading literally "Salaam, I come in peace," can get you harassed and kicked out as we saw at a rally in South Carolina back in January. As can just being part of a group of black students, like the ones who were ejected from another rally in Georgia late last month, who never protested. At a Trump even last night here in Florida, in Boca Raton, a Sun Sentinel columnist wearing his work ID badge, but attending as a private citizen was kicked out he says simply for recording video on his phone.
HAYES: The man who was kicked out of that Trump rally last night joins me now, Michael Mayo, columnist for the South Florida Sun Sentinel. So take me through this. You went to the event in general attendee?
MICHAEL MAYO: Yeah, what happens when we got notified that there was going to be this event, there was a website link, it's called eventbrite.com, where you register to attend as a general person, general public. I provided all my information accurately. I got this ticket on my phone. And then I showed up at the event. There was no rules or attachment, any guidelines attached to that ticket saying you can't do this, or they didn't ask me about if I was a newspaper person. I just showed up, went through the metal detectors like everybody else and was roaming around the crowd. And actually, the crowd everybody in the general admission crowd was using their phones to take photos and videos and was actually encouraged to post to social media by the campaign people and the warm up rallies, they even gave a special hashtag for the event. So they're encouraging everybody to use their phones, to use social media tweet, Facebook and I did the same.
HAYES: Right. So there's a, but at these events, they have a rule that press can't circulate and talk to supporters. They keep them in what's called a press pen where they are bound in. We saw one guy get clocked by secret service when he tried to leave it, right?
HAYES: So they come up to you, they see your press badge and what do they say?
MAYO: Well yeah, that's the thing. I wasn't in the pen, I didn't ask for a media credential. In my mind, I didn't need it, because I wasn't there working on deadline, I didn't have a computer. And when the Trump campaign operative, who wouldn't fully identify himself, just called himself "Justin," wouldn't give me his title. I gave him my card, I told him who I was. And he basically said that I couldn't do what I was doing and that I would have to leave. And, you know, I've been a journalist 30 years, sports writer a long time, news site for the last 14 years and I have never encountered a situation like that, where basically just for the act of being and doing what everybody else was doing in the general crowd, I was basically given an ultimatum of leaving or getting arrested --
HAYES: Or being arrested. I mean that's the other part of this and I've seen this now at several events. They essentially instruct the law enforcement that this is now private property at a private event in which they say who can come and go. It's not a public event, it's a private event and that's the word law enforcement will use to people, whether it's just a group of black people who happen to be there, that are then told this is a private event and you can't come here and law enforcement is going to take you out or someone with a press badge.
MAYO: Well, here's the surprising thing. I mean I was under the impression the First Amendment applies, especially when it's kind of a mass public setting, where the public is invited in. But I talked to some constitutional lawyers today, and I was a little surprised that right now, Donald J. Trump is considered a private entity, and he is allowed to control who comes and goes. The analogy I heard is it's like a birthday party. I got an invitation, I was allowed in and then for whatever reason they want, they kicked me out --
HAYES: They kicked you out. This is the thing they say about all their events. But what you have is you end up with people who are paid law enforcement of the state enforcing whatever private whims --
HAYES: Of this campaign, whether that means, profiling people based on the way they look or not wanting people to talk to their supporters, and that's not, just to be clear, that doesn't happen at other campaign events --
MAYO: No. And I covered a Marco Rubio rally two weeks ago down here in Miami. Exactly the same way I did this one. And I had no hassles, no problems.
HAYES: No, this is what you do. You go to campaign events if you're a reporter and you talk to people. That's what you do. Michael Mayo thanks for joining us.